Festive breaks in Cornwall
Experience the magic of Cornwall this Christmas and book a festive break by the sea.
Festive breaks in Cornwall offer everything you need for a relaxing seasonal break with your loved ones. Read on to find out about Christmas activities, festive food and markets, twinkling lights and much more for a special Christmas getaway.
Twinkling Christmas lights in Cornwall
Christmas lights always look pretty against a dark winter’s sky but going to see twinkling lights next to the sea is even more enchanting. There are many beautiful displays of lights across the county, lighting up harbours, pretty villages and coastal towns. The lights are switched on at the end of November or in early December, staying up until the new year.
St Ives itself has a lovely display of festive lights with a Christmas market and santa’s grotto. Just down the road in the village of Angarrack near Hayle, there’s a fantastic display which leads you on a trail through the entire village. Children will love spotting the twelve light displays for the twelve days of Christmas, as well as santa on his sleigh lighting up the sky and his reindeer in different corners of the village.
The Mousehole Cornwall Christmas lights are perhaps the most famous ones in the Duchy and are located just over ten miles from St Ives. These wonderful lights illuminate the whole harbour, including a whale and sea serpent on the water, a moving Christmas cracker, Christmas puddings and snowmen, and of course the iconic Mousehole or ‘Mouzer’ cat. Other amazing displays include Cadgwith Cove, Coverack, Padstow and Mevagissey.
Wonderful winter events & Christmas activities in Cornwall
When it comes to festive events in Cornwall, there’s plenty of choice to keep all the family entertained. Christmas festivities at the Eden Project take place between the 24th November and 30th December including ice skating, festive plant displays, seasonal food and the chance to meet santa and his elves.
Santa by Steam with Bodmin & Wenford Railway takes place between the 1st and 24th of December. On selected dates, you can embark on a magical train journey from Bodmin General Station. Enjoy mince pies and festive drinks on the platform before your hour-long festive adventure on a steam train, where Santa will be walking through the train with presents for all of the children on board.
Kids can meet Father Christmas at Gwel an Mor and say hello to his real reindeer too! There will also be Christmas crafts to take part in, or you can watch a festive film. The Christmas Lantern Walk at the National Trust Trengwainton Gardens is another popular winter event for families. This year the event takes place on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th December, from 5.30-8.00pm. The fairy lights and lanterns are very atmospheric and are sure to get everyone in the festive mood. Father Christmas will be there as well as choirs and bands performing Crimbo classics.
Celebrate Christmas the Cornish way
Many of the above events require booking tickets in advance, so make sure you check the websites for details. If you’re in Cornwall during the Christmas period, why not join in with the crazy locals and go for an invigorating Christmas Day or Boxing Day swim?! Some of the most popular beaches for a festive swim include Gwithian, Trevaunance Cove, Sennen, Poldhu and Porthminster beach in St Ives. Wetsuits are frowned on so be prepared to run into the sea in your swimming cossie with an optional santa hat or festive tinsel around your head! Make sure you have a towel, warm clothes and a flask of hot chocolate for when you get out!
Festive fun at Christmas markets in Cornwall
This year the Padstow Christmas Festival takes places from the 6th to the 9th of December. You can watch live chef demos and find gifts for your loved ones at the market, including local food and drink and arts and crafts. There will also be other fun events such as a santa fun run and a brilliant firework display.
Fowey Christmas Market is another great event on Cornwall’s festive calendar. The event includes a collection of handmade, locally produced gifts, arts and crafts as well as some of the region’s best locally produced food and drink. There will also be some great live music, a Christmas jumper competition, plus there’s a great choice of pubs and restaurants in Fowey to retreat to for a warming drink or meal.
More locally in St Ives, there will be a Christmas market in the Guildhall with food and craft stalls as well as face painting and live entertainment. Traditionally, the St Ives Christmas lights are switched on by Father Christmas who arrives by RNLI lifeboat and the cobbled streets come to life with buskers, market stalls, puppet shows and other festive entertainment.
Festive breaks in Cornwall with roast dinners on the coast
Whether you’re looking for a hassle free delicious roast to have with your family on Christmas day, boxing day or new year’s day, or a pre-Christmas lunch in early December with your nearest and dearest, there’s a fantastic choice in Cornwall and in St Ives alone. From elegant restaurant dining to cosy pubs, St Ives is the perfect place for festive food to warm you up during the winter.
The Gannet Inn in St Ives has a fantastic selection of festive menus for Christmas day, boxing day, new year’s eve and new year’s day, as well as pre-Christmas lunches starting on the 1st of December. The menus include seafood and vegetarian options as well as more traditional roasts. The Lifeboat Inn is offering a free bottle of prosecco for every 6 adults booked before the 19th of October for a meal in early December, perfect if you’re planning a pre-Christmas party! Both the party menu and the Christmas day menu have a range of options to choose from.
The HarBAR Kitchen, Bar & Terrace at the St Ives Harbour Hotel & Spa, is beautifully positioned overlooking Porthminster beach. Celebrate with your loved ones in a laid back atmosphere right by the sea and indulge in some delicious seasonal food. There are a range of menus for different days over the festive period, including a tempting Christmas party afternoon tea menu and Christmas bites menu. At the Garrack Hotel & Restaurant is also offering Christmas party nights for large groups as well as Christmas and new year meals for families.
Christmas holiday cottages in Cornwall
Festive breaks in Cornwall are a unique experience and Cornwall offers a magical setting for festive memories. Get the family together and enjoy invigorating coastal walks on secluded beaches, warm up in cosy pubs and cafes, explore Christmas markets, check out festive events and enjoy seasonal menus.
Leave the chaos of Christmas in the city behind you and enjoy a relaxing break by the sea. Our luxury holiday cottages in St Ives offer the perfect coastal retreat for you and your loved ones to escape from it all this festive season.